What is Mobile Learning? Smartphones, tablets, and laptops are often viewed as distractions for students. Since technology has become a necessity in our daily lives, why not integrate it into the learning framework? Those distractions can actually be used to achieve educational goals. Mobile learning is an educational system that allows students constant access to learning with electronic devices. While apps are a piece of the mobile learning world, they are just one piece of the puzzle. Mobile learning includes videos, audio, polls, discussion boards, interactive quizzes, and more. Why the Appeal? Mobile learning is quickly gaining popularity with educators and students across all grade levels. Educators can appeal to students with varying learning styles using different mobile platforms. Students are motivated by the idea of integrating their devices into classroom activities. Mobile learning also expands the possibilities of interactive learning. It allows students to access and expand curriculum at any time and in any place. How to Plan a Mobile Learning Curriculum The first step in designing a quality curriculum is to determine how [...]
AP exams can be daunting for students—and just as daunting for the teachers entrusted to effectively prep those students to succeed. However, these anxieties can be reduced by providing well-constructed test prep assessment items. Not only will students reap the benefits, but teachers will feel better when preparing their classes for the AP exams. So how does one write these effective assessment items? Start with this simple checklist: Use application over recall Focus on analysis Use visuals: cartoons, photos, maps, or artifacts Compare and contrast The Importance of Application The AP Government exam will not ask students to recall specific names or dates. Instead, students will be tested in their ability to apply their knowledge to specific scenarios. The assessment items used to prepare students should mimic that level of application. Don’t just ask students to know; ask them to show what they know and how it connects to real-life politics. Why Analyze? Students shouldn’t just identify governing documents or Supreme Court decisions; they should also evaluate and interpret the causes and effects. Think Bloom’s Taxonomy [...]
Using games in learning became in vogue in the early 1960s. Jean Piaget praised the use of games in learning. He said play could help simulate real-life conflict and help resolve them. Today, we integrate digital game-based learning. Benefits of Game-Based Learning Digital game-based learning gives learners a chance to think and work in new ways. Educators can customize a game to fit the learning. Most importantly, learners get real practice and opportunities to think creatively. The idea is simple. Digital game-based learning means using video games as a tool. Some might call this gamification, but it isn’t. That only swaps one element of education with something game-based. Merits of Digital Game-Based Learning in Teaching Concepts Digital game-based learning allows for learners to practice skills in hands-on authentic activities that can be applied in the real world. While learners work, educators can expect real-time results and assessment of understanding. Therefore, they can provide immediate feedback during learning activities. Digital game-based learning is adaptive. This means correct answers lead to more challenges, whereas wrong answers lead to [...]
Assessment is a vital piece of the educational process. Not only do students get a better understanding of their learning, but assessments help gather valuable learner data. Before we jump into designing effective online assessments, let’s first look at the different types of assessments. Formative Assessments Formative assessments give a glimpse into student knowledge at a certain point in the learning process. These assessments are usually used for feedback and are simple; classroom polls, think-pair-share, or charts are all examples of formative assessments. Summative Assessments Summative assessments are the other commonly used type of assessment. They are given at the end of units or courses to assess learning. These heftier assessments measure student achievement while providing data on student learning of content standards and program effectiveness. Online Assessments With learning going digital, online assessments provide a number of benefits not found with their paper and pencil counterparts. Online assessments are less time consuming easier to explore and organize data on student performance easily adaptable conducive to the collection of new data While online assessments offer several [...]
Computer science is a vast field, and it’s in constant flux. Computers and programming conventions will almost certainly change radically over the next 10 years. Today’s innovative ideas will soon become industry norms. It’s not easy to design a curriculum for such a dynamic field. Some computer curricula fail because they succumb to one or more of these four common pitfalls. Focusing on exciting innovations versus fundamentals. It may be tempting to try to engage students with the most exciting new technologies. The reality, however, is that “new” technology may be outdated within just a year or two. Meanwhile, however, every student will need to understand the fundamentals of computer science in order to excel. Trying to teach everything to every student. Computer science is a large and growing field, with a wide range of different specialties and applications. Content development for a computer science curriculum should include segments focusing on a wide range of topics. Possibilities range from programming to networking to graphics. Curricula should not, however, stress one element over all others. Students will [...]
Have you seen what’s trending on Facebook? How about what’s trending on Twitter or Instagram? With seemingly infinite information sources but only finite time, it may be hard to conceive of doing in-depth study of academic subjects. Yet the reality of our short-attention-span world is actually key to understanding the coming learning trends in higher ed. Educational institutions are eager to capitalize on students’ new learning styles. Microlearning The underlying aspect of the latest trends is microlearning, or learning implemented in small, objective-driven chunks. A larger lesson is divided into its smallest components so students can learn each one quickly and usually independently. The content may be delivered in videos, podcasts, short articles, infographics, and other formats that can be absorbed in minutes. So instead of setting aside blocks of hours to master a full skill set, students spend minutes mastering each detail and then move on to the next step. This supports retention: small nuggets of information are easier to remember and recall when needed. Higher ed institutions are jumping on this type of learning, [...]
Children love video games. In our increasingly digital world, we can leverage their use for instructional purposes. Here are four tips for educators and curriculum developers to use digital games in the classroom. Games as motivational aids Research has shown that video games help in promoting learning and motivating students. A study at NYU found that gaming encourages students to become more engaged about their learning, and to become confident about their skills. Games have an inherent motivational element, as they mostly contain leaderboards and built-in competition. This will eventually lead to progress in their learning. Use them to enhance instruction When selecting games to enhance instruction, make sure that the game you are using fits with your subject’s requirements, the needs of your students, and the skills they will need to develop to complete a lesson. The key is to use games to help you plan curricula that engage students and support learning, and are not merely an end in themselves. Don’t reinvent the wheel Don't spend your time developing new video games to teach [...]
Every high quality math course writer should know these six things!